Dominionism is such a complex heresy that has been infiltrating the Church for a number of years. Dominion Theology comes under the banner of many different branches and has many different aspects to each sect. Such maneuvring has been a ploy of the enemy to make this false doctrine very hard for those lacking discernment to spot. The enemy of our souls is a master at deception; he is the father of lies and comes as an angel of light. The Holy Spirit is the Only One Who can lead and guide us into all Truth; this is Jesus Christ and His Word. The Authorized Word of God is our first and final Authority. We are to exercise a judgment of righteous judgment as exhorted in the Word of God - John 7:24. Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.
In this blog we will examine some of the major components of this error and prayerfully ask the Lord to expose anything that leads away from the Finished Work of Calvary.
Dominion Theology teaches that the Gospel of Salvation is achieved by setting up the "Kingdom of God" as a literal and physical kingdom to be "advanced" on Earth in this present age. Dominionists say that the Church will Christianize the world completely before Jesus can return to rule the world at His Second Coming.
Some sects of this heretical belief even go so far as to say that they are actually Christ manifest on this earth. They teach that Jesus will not need to return because the Church is the literal physical body of Christ on this earth and it will achieve utopia in place of Jesus.
Dominionists use Scriptures from Genesis to support these errors, such as:
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
Dominionists teach these verses of Scripture with such a different approach to the application intended in The Word of God. In all of these sects the same overall ideology is suggested, that the Church now has the authority to take over the society, culture and government. These scriptures, given by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, are applied to mean that God has made mankind over the creatures. No further application or intention is required, but as with every heresy and false doctrine portrayed, scripture must always be used to get the attention of the listener. They can then be more easily led into Satan's kingdom.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF DOMINIONISM
The actual root of Dominionism can be traced back as far as the Tower of Babel. We see in Genesis 11 that man attempted to be as God, attempted to build a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven. This was direct rebellion against God, under the leadership of Nimrod, to worship other gods.
After Nimrod's death, the worship of the Babylonian system continued on, and does to this day. It will continue until Bible prophecy has been fulfilled where the Antichrist will be thrown into the bottomless pit and ultimately in the Lake of Fire with all those who have chosen to believe lies.
Here are some of the key players in this movement:
Franklin Hall - taught Dominionism and was a forerunner of the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR).
His revivals began in San Diego in 1946, where fasting was incorporated and encouraged for lengthy periods of time. We see this evidenced in some Dominionist/NAR events such as Lou Engle's, The Call, where a 40-day fast precedes these events.
Franklin Hall wrote, Atomic Power With God Through Prayer and Fasting, in 1946 and influenced leaders of the Latter Rain revivals in the 1940s - 1950s. These include:
William Braham and Oral Roberts are described as the "giants" of the faith-healing revival movements. Oral Roberts is credited by Pentecostal leader, Jack Hayford, as the one who kept the torch burning through the Charismatic Renewal in the 1960s - 1970s, which was followed by the development of the "Third Wave" as named by C. Peter Wager and John Wimber.
Franklin Hall also wrote another book in 1966 called, Subdue the Earth, Rule the Nations. Much of this work is about controlling the weather through prayer, a practice which is very much alive in the modern-day Dominionism/NAR movements, under the banner of strategic level spiritual warfare.
Under a section titled "How Faith Can Change the Weather Pattern," a warning is posted stating, "THIS SECTION IS ONLY PRESENTED TO THE SINCERE BELIEVER." This is followed by claims of controlling the weather in Des Moines, Colorado Springs, Phoenix, and other locations.
Chapter Five continues with what follows after the man-child company can control weather.
"The 'stone or man-child' group will have complete authority and control of the earth and the elements at about this time. The man-child will have discovered how much it is the will of the Lord for him to demonstrate miracles, signs, and wonders, and to manifest his son-ship.
...The elements will also be used to bring about the destruction of the enemies of God and the enemies of his man. Those who will refuse to believe in His Word will likewise be destroyed by their own unbelief in our Lord's miraculous saving grace.
... The man-child group of the sons of God will be required `to rule all nations with a rod of iron.' (Revelation 12:5).
... The Word of God makes it crystal clear just how the nations that will not yield to Him will be broken. In Daniel 2:35 we are given a vivid picture of how easy this is to be brought about by the faith of this special overcoming group from out of the church.
...After the whole Gospel of the Kingdom is presented to the nations, the next matter that will confront the nations, is whether or not they will accept the message. The time must come about that they will be either (almost) forced to do so or if they will not do so, they will have to be moved out of the way by force."
NAR critic Mike Oppenheimer documents Franklin Hall's call for Dominionism:
Franklin Hall In his book, Subdue the Earth, Rule the Nations, quotes Revelation 12:5, and equates the man-child of the sun-clothed woman with the overcomers: “The man-child company will have dominion of this planet first. Those who possess a house may decide who shall occupy it. In the same manner, as a group from the church take up their authority and rulership of the planet that God gave them, they will likewise be able to choose whom they will, to occupy it.” (Franklin Hall, Subdue The Earth, Rule The Nations, p. 11 (Franklin Hall Ministries, 1966).
The whole error is summed up in one idea: "Rule the World for God". This is basically where this Dominionism error leads. Domionionists ignore the Bible as the first and final Authority and present supposed "new revelation" that one will not find written in the Word of God because, according to them, one must have special knowledge, much like the gnostic error.
Al Dager, wrote a book exposing the errors of Dominionism called, Vengeance is Ours: The Church in Dominion (1990).
Dager examined the phenomenon of "Charismatic Dominionism" which began in the Latter Rain movement during the 1940s.(Dager, p. 49) Key leaders included Franklin Hall, who taught that "fasting" could be "a means of bringing about revival and the 'restoration' of the Church" in the end times. Hall, who went off the deep end into UFO-ology and demon gods, astrology and mythology, taught that men could become "immortal while in their present flesh-and-blood bodies." (Dager, p. 51, 53)
William Branham, a Pentecostal preacher who heard "the Voice" and went into trances (Dager, p. 57), was influenced by Hall's strange teachings. Branham invented a doctrine that the Church was going through evolutionary "progressive stages of sanctification," based on his synthesis of "the Zodiac, the Egyptian pyramids, and the written Scriptures"(Dager, p. 55). Branham concocted an extremely controversial "Serpent Seed" teaching, which is "based on a twisted interpretation of Genesis 3:13" that Eve was sexually seduced by the serpent and produced a genetically mutant offspring (Dager, p. 56).
Other notable men became part of this early cult movement, including George Warnock, along with George and Ern Hawtin (Dager lists many others on pp. 58-64). The cult was condemned as heretical at the time, but Dager explained in 1990 how the movement was able to continue:
“Today, the doctrines of the Latter Rain Movement are experiencing resurgence due to the charismatic movement and its influences in the Christian media. Although by all appearances the name has died out, the Latter Rain Movement has resurfaced under other names, and is held together by a network of teachers and organizations whose roots are in the healing ministries that grew out of the William Branham and Franklin Hall experiences.”(Dager, p. 65)
The common thread that held all of these groups together is that these men were “seeking to establish the Kingdom of God on earth before Jesus returns" and that "the Church must be united in a dominion mindset."(Dager, p. 65) The most controversial teachings in this lineage of heresies are various forms of British-Israelism, Identity, and white Aryan supremacy -- teachings which subtly and occasionally reappear throughout Latter Rain teachings concerning their "destiny to rule the earth." (Dager, pp. 66-68)
Dager wrote that "Charismatic Dominionism is largely an outgrowth of the Manifest Sons of God" (MSOG). This is a catch-all term that has fallen into disuse as a result of so many games of semantic deception over the years. But, essentially MSOG is the generic name that applies to several sects birthed through the Latter Rain Movement. Manifest Sons teachings contain all the elements of classical dominion theory: perfection, immortalization, restoration of the Church, restoration of the offices of apostles and prophets, absolute authoritarianism, extreme shepherding-discipleship, attainment of godhood, and so forth. (Dager, p. 69)
MSOG doctrine teaches an aberrant eschatology that "the Church, as the 'on-going incarnation of God,' is Christ on earth."(Dager, p. 71) This is the crux of the whole matter, because from this heresy they arrive at the conclusion that they, therefore, must BE Christ on earth and wield the sword of Dominionism to conquer their enemies. A corollary to the MSOG message is the "Kingdom Message" ("Kingdom Now") which states that the Kingdom of God is a present reality in the earth, and is only waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God to demonstrate the Kingdom by taking their authority over the kingdoms of the earth. This will take place before Jesus can return. (Dager, p. 72)
Rousas John Rushdoony (1916-2001) - Another proponent of the heretical Dominionist teaching, he published a book in 1973 called, The Institutes of Biblical Law. Recent advocates of this teaching are:
Garry De Mar
This sect of Dominionism is also known as Christian Reconstructionism, or Theonomy. Its meaning is - RULE BY GOD'S LAW.
In Rushdoony's book, he teaches that the world needs to be dominated by Jesus Christ as Lord through the world’s systems of Politics, Social, Family, Art, Education and Music, etc. The idea of this is similar to the current Seven Mountain Mandate as taught by recent advocate, Lance Wallnau. Wallnau was influenced by a so-called message given from God to Loren Cunningham, founder of YWAM (Youth With A Mission), and Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade for Christ.
In 1975, Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade, and Loren Cunningham, founder of Youth With a Mission, had lunch together in Colorado. God simultaneously gave each of these change agents a message to give to the other. During that same time frame Francis Schaeffer was given a similar message. That message was simply - in order to impact any nation for Jesus Christ, we have to affect the seven spheres, or mountains of society that are the pillars of any society.
These seven mountains are business, government, media, arts and entertainment, education, the family and religion. There are many subgroups under these main categories. About a month later the Lord showed Francis Schaeffer the same thing. In essence, God was telling these three change agents the location of the battlefield. It was here where culture would be won or lost. Their assignment was to raise up change agents to scale the mountains and to help a new generation of change agents understand the larger story. -
Rushdoony’s idea has not been implemented to the extremes he advocated, such as severe punishments for those who were law breakers, including the death penalty for homosexuals, abortionists, idolaters, murderers and such like.
Dominionists all believe that the world is converted to Christianity through man’s efforts and that Christ will return after this has taken place. They believe this is accomplished through the teaching and preaching of the gospel. Little do they understand they are presenting another gospel.
Jesus’ death on the cross was the atonement for the sin debt. He calls all men everywhere to repent, and never instructs man to take over society by eradicating evil. Such purging will only come about through Jesus' return to this earth and ultimately in the Perfect Age to come. The Government shall be upon His shoulders and it will be accomplished by Christ Himself, not man.
The victory over sin can only be achieved by individuals trusting in the sacrifice that has already been done at Calvary which will result in repentance. The inward man must be changed and it is a matter of the heart, not outward laws trying to change the inward.
The laws of God, including the moral laws, are written on the hearts of believers as they are changed by the power of the gospel. The Holy Spirit works in and through yielded vessels by grace through faith, not by a set of laws.
Rushdoony's death in 2001 did not stop this error’s influence because his son-in-law, Gary North, carried the torch, further advocating this error in Christian Reconstructionism.
Names of false teachers of Dominionism error past and present:
· C. Peter Wagner
· Rick Warren
· Lance Wallnau
· Bill Johnson-Bethel Church
· John and Carol Arnott
· Chuck Pierce
· Cindy Jacobs
· Lou Engle
· James W Goll
· Patricia King
· Todd Bently
· Mike Bickle
· Heidi Baker
· Jim Garlow
· Ché Ahn
· Rick Joyner
· Jack Deere
· Gary North
· Eddie Long
· David Barton
· Johnny Enlow
· Doug Stringer
· David Lane
· Loren Cunningham
· Bill Bright
· Franklin Hall
· Dutch Sheets
· Kat Kerr
· Bill Hamon
· William Branham
· Francis Fragipane
· Kim Clement
· Bob Jones
· Sid Roth
· Paul Cain
· John Wimber
· Tommy Tenney
· Ed Silvoso
· John Kilpatrick
· John Crowder
· ...And many more!
Sects of Dominionism and some labels that carry aspects of this error past and present:
· Manifest Sons of God (MSOG)
· New apostolic Reformation (NAR)
· Latter Rain Movement
· Seven Mountain Mandate
· Kingdom Now
· IHOP Movement
· International Coalition of Apostles (ICA)
· International Coalition of Apostolic Leaders (ICAL)
· Kingdom Revolution
· Joels’s Army
· Christian Reconstructionism/Theonomy
· Emergent Church
· Patriotic Dominionism
· New Breed
· Change Agents
· Shepherd’s Rod
· NYC Women’s Prayer Summit
· Social Gospel
· Spiritual Warfare Prayer Movement
· Mission as Transformation Movement
· The Merchant Church
· Kansas City Prophets
· Toronto Blessing
· Third Wave
· Jesus Culture – Bethel Church
· Restored Apostles and Prophets
Common Traits of Dominionist Teaching
Here are 6 traits, beliefs, and some of the common lingo used by adherents taken from http://bereanresearch.org/dominionism-nar/ website:
We’re in a “Second Apostolic Age.” There are new Apostles are on the earth today, anointed by the laying of hands to represent and speak for God here on Earth. These “Super Apostles” are equal to the original Apostles – the ones who witnessed Jesus’ life, death and resurrection and were appointed by Christ Himself to the office. Since these new apostles are commissioned by God, their authority may not be questioned.
Rather than preach the Gospel of the cross, Apostolic leaders are working to bring the Gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven to Earth. They do this by taking dominion of earthly kingdoms or “mountains” of government, media, entertainment, education, business, family, and religion. Leaders often talk of city building and organize prayer walks to pray against demonic strongholds. They often speak of being mission-focused rather than being Christ-centered.
3. “DESTINY” “PRESENCE” “GLORY”
Though members are not always charismatic, they frequently emphasize a manifestation of “Glory” and “God’s presence,” and often have a special anointing to receive direct revelation from God, perform healings and other signs and wonders. They teach that our purpose is to achieve our dream destiny so that we can change the world.
Revival on a massive scale is key in this movement. There is a strong emphasis on an “end times harvest” through a great awakening that we can usher in. Often these revivals are held in stadiums and reach millions around the world via live stream technology; they are marketed and produced like rock concerts. All scripture verses about an end times falling away are ignored, and get replaced with hyped-up claims about the Next Big Thing that’s always just around the corner.
Unity (at the expense of biblical doctrine) is almost always used as both the how and the why in this movement. Unity for the sake of bringing Heaven to Earth is leading to the blurring of doctrinal and denominational lines, often bringing together well-known leaders of charismatic, reformed, Word of Faith, seeker-emergent, progressive and Roman Catholics churches, all under one umbrella.
Finally, NAR churches almost always abandon a major tenant of Christian faith:
6. NAR DENIES THE SUFFICIENCY OF SCRIPTURE.
NAR adherents may believe in the inerrancy and authority of the Bible, but God’s breathed-out Word is just not enough for them. Jesus’ sacrificial death for our sins is not good enough; the promise of eternal life in Heaven is not good enough.
Al Dager, Vengeance Is Ours: The Church in Dominion (Sword, 1990).